Tag Archives: books

What do your books say about you?

They say, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

But can you judge someone by what books they read? (More on that in a minute.)

We found the house we want. I love everything about it. I just got a feeling, you know?

I didn’t even open a drawer and I knew it was for me. It just felt right. I could see my family there.

I know some people don’t do anything until they check every little nook and cranny, consider everything that could possibly go wrong and then think, think and think some more before making a decision. That is one way of doing it.  Also, that may be considered the “better” way by some.

Well, that is not me.

I walked in and said, “Let’s make an offer.”

I guess I was judging the house by it’s entry way. Is that the same as judging a book by it’s cover?

I don’t know. It’s just how I do things. Call it intuition, call it the Holy Spirit…it has worked for me.

Since my husband wasn’t there when I decided we were buying it, we had to go back and see it this weekend. We lingered. Sat on couches. Stood at the sink in the kitchen. I even opened a drawer. We walked around the yard, the pool, the garage. Everything just solidified my initial reaction. This feels like home.

But nothing more than this.

We went into the office which is lined with bookshelves. They were full which I love because books make me feel safe and comfortable and I need to have space for them. I walked up close to see what books were on the shelves. I got goosebumps. I took a picture.





Does this really tell us anything you ask?

I think it does.

First of all, THE BIBLE. not one. Two. Just on this shelf. To me, this says we love Jesus. You know how people have scrapbooks telling the story of their lives?  Well, to me, the people that have the Bible out in their home are saying, “This is our story…this is who we are.”

Second of all, the Air Force Academy books.  Military. Patriots. To me, this says they are trustworthy, disciplined, honorable, people of their word.  Interestingly, we bought our first house in Western Springs from a military man…a Naval aviator.  That was the right decision too.

And the dictionary.  Words.  Old school. Traditional.  I have to admit I’m a little skeptical of people who read everything on the Kindle or the ipad.  I mean, don’t you want to hold the book…don’t you want to feel it and smell it? (It’s true. I smell books. My friends I used to work with would look at me like I was nuts but I need the whole sensory experience.)

Having said all of that, I’m also in the habit of googling definitions and spellings so I contradict myself.  But the dictionary made me think of my Dad, a different age, a slower pace.

All of this made me think of my Dad.  A Marine, a lifelong Catholic, a man of words and a man of his word.

It was like he was there, encouraging me, nodding yes.

I’m telling y’all…I found my home.

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved


Blinking Lights on the Dashboard

blinking lights photo

Yesterday was a bad day.  Emotionally. Spiritually. I felt heavy and burdened but I knew I was doing the burdening to myself. My mind was creating pain. So on top of feeling like crap, I felt guilty for feeling that way so I just decided to watch the Housewives of New York City reunion and eat popcorn. I’m pretty sure they call that numbing.

This morning I was up early because I had to take people places and then take my car in to be looked at.  The engine light had been on for weeks, maybe months, and I had been ignoring it.  I just kept driving, turning the music up louder so I couldn’t hear the “ding” of the dashboard as the blinking light warned me of impending doom.

What a metaphor, eh?  I was even numbing the pain of my car.

So, there I was this morning…facing the blinking light.  I took my car into the dealer and waited.  I knew I would be in the waiting room for awhile and realized there were no magazines.  The news was on and I watched for a few minutes but then got bored and depressed and frankly, rather annoyed they were reporting on the Justin Beiber/Orlando Bloom fight that took place while Lindsay Lohan and some others were watching.  I started thinking, “This is news? There are real problems in the world!” And then I realized I need to cut the news people some slack, they are numbing too.  And their audiences are begging to be numbed.  We all need a break from what is actually going on I guess.

Anyway, I have Kindle on my phone and many months ago (maybe a year ago?) I had downloaded, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.  I love Donald Miller.  For some reason, I had never read this book.

God had saved it for today. He knew I needed it. Today.

I had never started the book.  It was just waiting there on my Kindle.  But when I clicked it, it took me to Chapter 18.  Normally I would click back and start at the beginning.  It’s just not like me to start in the middle of a book.  I’m the person who has to finish all books even if I hate them in the first Chapter.  I’m organized with my reading.  I like to go in order and finish what I start, etc.  That’s why this was for sure a God’s timing thing.

I’ve learned that God’s timing things are a gift.  The best kind of gift.  So, I just started reading right there in Chapter 18.

“It is always the simple things that change our lives.  And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen.  Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so.  You feel like running, but life is on a stroll.  This is how God does things.” 

That was the first passage I highlighted.  There is so much more in the book that resonated with me.  I came home and finished the entire book today. I laughed, I cried. I felt understood. You know?

I guess I’m telling you this because I’m better today.  And because I cried in the waiting room at the car repair shop and I feel like that needs to be noted.  I didn’t bawl like a baby but there were some Holy Spirit tears.   There was a part in the book where he was writing about how we all come to a point in life where we have to face ourselves.  He says, “The problem is not out there; the problem is the needy beast of a thing that lives in my chest.”  I was thinking, “Oh my gosh, you mean I’m not alone in this?  You have a needy beast in you too?”  He was getting at what I was struggling with…What are my motives? Why do I do what I do? Why do the same things keep coming up for me? What is God showing me?

God is doing a work in me.  I think when we decide to follow Him, we let Him speak into our lives and He transforms us.  It’s not immediate and sometimes it’s not fun but if we are open to it, He will use everything and anything to get to our hearts and help us see who we really are and then He will help us to become more like Him.  I mean, He will use anything…books, people, music, radio, internet, nature…even blinking lights on the dashboard.

Isn’t it pretty cool that God gives us what we need when we need it? I guess I was supposed to ignore the blinking light until today.  Because God had something to show me on my Kindle.  And today was the day I was ready to see it.

Timing is everything.


©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved



Those Little Reminders



These little reminders are on my kitchen windowsill.

You know how you look at some things all the time and then you become blind to them?

I saw them with new eyes the other day.  I was thinking…hmmm…Proverbs and Dr. Suess…how do they go together?  But then I realized they do! I think God’s telling me to TRUST Him with all of my heart and then I will go places.  They absolutely go together!  Trust and going places. You know what I mean?

I think we all have places we want to go.  We all have plans.  We all have ideas and dreams.  But I’m a firm believer that God’s dreams and plans for me are bigger and better than anything I can imagine.  You too!

I love this from Ephesians.

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.  – Ephesians 3:14-21

It reminds me…it’s not knowledge or intellectual muscle or physical muscle that will help me go to the places I want to go.  It’s spiritual surrender.  I put down my brute strength and He fills me with glorious inner strength and off we go!

He want’s us to live full lives.  He wants to fill us up so He can take us places.

Your balloon awaits…



©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big YES™ All Rights Reserved